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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Trauma Symptom Checklist - 40 (TSC-40)


Trauma Symptom Checklist - 40 (TSC-40)

Elliot & Briere, 1992


The TSC-40 is a 40-item self-report measure of symptomatic distress in adults arising from childhood or adult traumatic experiences. It measures aspects of posttraumatic stress as well as other symptoms found in some traumatized individuals.

Respondents are asked to rate how often they have experienced each symptom in the last two months using a 4-point frequency rating scale ranging from 0 ("never") to 3 ("often"). In addition to yielding a total score (ranging from 0 to 120), the TSC-40 has six subscales: Anxiety, Depression, Dissociation, Sexual Abuse Trauma Index, Sexual Problems, and Sleep Disturbances. According to the authors, this measure is intended exclusively for research purposes.

Sample Item

How often have you experienced each of the following items in the past two months?

"Feeling isolated from others"
0 = never to 3 = Often


The TSC-33 is an earlier version that does not contain the Sexual Problems and Sleep Disturbances subscales.


Elliot, D. M. & Briere, J. (1992). Sexual abuse trauma among professional women: Validating the Trauma Symptom Checklist - 40 (TSC-40). Child Abuse & Neglect, 16, 391-398.

Briere, J. N., & Runtz, M. G. (1989). The Trauma Symptom Checklist (TSC-33): early data on a new scale. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 151-163.

Additional Reviews

Norris and Hamblen (2004) (PDF) p. 86.

Norris, Fran H. & Hamblen, Jessica L. (2004). Standardized self-report measures of civilian trauma and PTSD. In J.P. Wilson, T.M. Keane & T. Martin (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD (pp. 63-102). New York: Guilford Press. PILOTS ID 18638

To Obtain Scale

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Measure availability: Information on measures is available to everyone. However, the assessment tools themselves can only be distributed to qualified mental health professionals and researchers. We maintain measures developed by affiliated staff of the National Center for PTSD.

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Using the PILOTS database for Assessment Information
The PILOTS database is the largest electronic index to the world's literature on traumatic stress.

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